Amateur de Violon by André Gill
Amateur de violon (La Lune, February 1866)

André Gill was a well-known French 19th century caricaturist, as well as a painter and singer. He was born Louis-Alexandre Gosset de Guines in Paris as the son of the Comte de Guînes and couturier Sylvie-Adeline Gosset. He attended the Parisian Academy of Fine Arts and began his artistic career in the pages of Le Journal Amusant in 1859. He subsequently drew for Le Hanneton, the socialist paper La Rue and satirical magazines like Le Charivari, La Lune and L'Éclipse. He became especially known for his work for La Lune, that contained many frontpage caricatures. Gill's much imitated trademark became the supersized heads he gave his subjects on small bodies.

When La Lune was banned in 1868, he transferred to L'Éclipse where he remained until 1876. He gained notority through his attacks on government censorship of his work and statesman Adolphe Thiers, as well as a lawsuit and subsequent prison sentence when Gill allegedly drew a pumpkin for a judge's head. By 1876 Gill turned to a milder style when he worked for La Lune Rousse.

André Gill was also a singer with the Cabaret des Assassins in Montmatre, that later became known as the Lapin Agile. Gill suffered from mental illness was forced to enter a psychiatric hospital in 1880. He died five years later in the asylum of Charenton.

Cover for La Lune by André GillCover for La Lune by André Gill
Cover drawings for La Lune of 16 December 1866 and 6 June 1867

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